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Dangers of Smoking Black Tar Heroin

The white or brown powder substance known as “standard” heroin requires quite a bit of processing in order to produce the final product. Black tar heroin offers a less complex manufacturing process that can be carried out within clandestine drug production rings.

While less complex, black tar heroin consists of any number of additives, which degrades the products overall quality, and safety of use, according to the New York State Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services. Whether snorting, injecting or smoking black tar heroin, these additives only serve to worsen the damaging effects of the drug.

black tar heroin

Black tar heroin can cause a variety of respiratory problems.

Smoking black tar heroin increases the likelihood of developing respiratory problems in the same way smoking any type of substance does. Likewise, the dangers associated with heroin use in general all come into play when smoking black tar heroin on a regular basis.

Black Tar Heroin Effects

Black tar heroin effects can vary depending on how a person ingests it. Injections produce the quickest and most intense effects while the effects from snorting are slower and less intense. Smoking black tar heroin works at the mid-range level, delivering a fairly intense “high” at a slower rate than injecting.

In general, the faster and more intense the “high,” the more the drug interferes with normal brain chemical functions. As heroin use carries certain dangers regardless of the route of ingestion, smoking black tar heroin can wreak considerable havoc in a person’s daily life.


Smoking black tar heroin on a frequent basis leaves users open to developing respiratory problems. Over time, the effects from the tar and additives contained in the drug cause residues to build-up in the lungs.

Chronic users may eventually develop asthma and require a nebulizer to help them breathe more comfortably. Nebulizer machines use hot steam to send medication into the lungs.

Physical Dependence

Heroin ingested in any form can cause users to become physically dependent on the drug’s effects. With smoking being the second most damaging route of ingestion, the brain and body can develop a dependency within a couple day’s time of regular drug use.

With physical dependency come withdrawal effects, which only work to promote ongoing drug use. Withdrawal effects commonly take the form of –

  • Diarrhea
  • Fevers
  • Chills
  • Severe muscle aches
  • Anxiety
  • depression


According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an estimated 23 percent of people who try any form of heroin will develop an addiction to the drug. With regular heroin use, the brain enters a state of chemical imbalance that inevitably impairs a person’s daily perceptions. Once chemical imbalances reach a certain point, the effects from smoking black tar heroin “rewire” a person’s cognitive functions.

At this point, heroin becomes a primary priority that drives a person’s thinking patterns, behaviors and motivations. As addiction sets in, users essentially lose any ability to regulate, reduce or stop drug use.

With heroin being the most addictive opiate drug in existence, this drug has a cumulative effect over time. For long-term users, this means smoking black tar heroin can result in accidental overdose, which can be fatal.

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